SOME OF MY STORY
In the first 30 years of my life, I had several experiences that would would help me develop personally, and eventually inform my choice of graduate study and career. I was born in Oslo, Norway and raised in Washington DC, the American capitol. I also lived as an expat in Ireland, Germany, and the UK,
Growing up in an alcoholic family taught me how to be vigilant to my surroundings; how to manipulate others and how to be extraordinarily loyal. That’s what got me into counselling, psychoanalysis and many other self-care experiences.
The experience of my father’s cancer, which led to his death at home before there was hospice care available in America, was visceral. That experience taught me about advocacy, navigating organizations and experiencing grief and depression. He was 52 years old and I was 26.
Surviving a bedroom fire in my New York City flat put me in the Burn Unit at St. Vincent’s Hospital. That first night I talked to another patient for hours, whose pain was unmanageable. There I witnessed mindfulness and positive psychology in action.
Other personal experiences were connected to children and families; the psychosocial and biopsychosocial needs of loved ones and the success or failure of the systems involved in their care. This was the birthplace for my passion in helping individuals’ mental health, families, and childrens’ organizations succeed. Hence, my interest in NGO’s and non-profit groups. Keeping my life in balance is my way of maintaining my physical, spiritual and mental health.
Consequently, I have the energy to live passionately – enjoying my work as a consultant and a counselor; connecting with family and friends and happily painting in an abstract expressionist style.